CFP: CFP, Philosophy of Management, Special Thematic Issue of Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia

Submission deadline: November 30, 2017

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Building a philosophy of management requires uncovering what is behind managerial practices, beyond practical requirements. “Philosophizing is not what many politicians and managers think it is: to express some personal ideas on the state of matters. It is, on the contrary, starting to see unquestioned matters in a new, problematic way” (van Peursen, 1989: 267). Philosophy is fundamentally conceptual in nature, in the sense of challenging, refining or crafting new concepts (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994). Beyond invoking philosophers, we call for a conceptualization of organization studies, either starting from or reformulating usual words and labels, such as:


-          Organization

-          Management

-          Decision and decision-making

-          Motivation

-          Groups and teams

-          Communication

-          Leadership

-          Power

-          Negotiation

-          Structure

-          Culture

-          Change

-          Control

-          Etc.


This process would not be complete if it was not informed by specifically philosophical concepts that could enlighten our understanding of organizations and management. Indeed, a philosophy of management needs to be a two-way street (Laurie & Cherry, 2001), and to include notions like:


-          Agency

-          Intentionality

-          Practical reason

-          Ethics

-          Reason

-          Truth

-          Power

-          Politics


In questioning, embezzling or crafting new words and concepts, the use of philosophers and philosophical fields will be absolutely necessary. Drawing from Tsoukas & Chia (2011) and Koslowski (2010), we offer three main leads:

-          Ontology and epistemologyto question organization studies as an academic field and knowledge within organizations

-          Praxeology to challenge to connection between theories of management and managerial practices

-          Aesthetics to unpack the entwinement of bodies, senses and emotions in management and organizations

We call here for meta-questions (Tsoukas & Chia, 2011) that aim at uncovering the philosophical concepts under the managerial labels. We do not seek specialized application of a specific philosopher, but rather the use of philosophy to create and refine concepts. For example, one could start from the institutionalized label (“management”) or decide to dismantle it to reveal its underlying concepts (“coordination”, “delegation”, or “control”). In doing so, submissions will obviously need to be heavily informed by the academic literature on management, as many works has been done by organization scholars.

 Our spirit aligns strongly with how Paul Griseri grounds his Introduction to the philosophy of management: “Some have taken the methods of academic philosophy – close attention to the use of terminology, tight arguments in which no statement is immune from questioning – and applied these directly to ordinary phenomena, outside of a theoretical context. Such philosophising of everyday life captures an important element of the original practice of the ancients, that this is meant to be an activity that integrates into people’s day-to-day living, not a remote practice only carried on by a cadre of specialised experts” (Griseri, 2013: 2).

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